Between six and 21 civilians died and up to 50 were injured in multiple night time airstrikes on the city of Raqqa, according to local sources. While most reports alleged that Russia was responsible, others did not identify the aircraft, while one blamed the Assad regime and another said that the Coalition might have carried out the raids.
Multiple local sources reported the incident, stating various numbers of dead and wounded.
Al Ettihad Press attributed the incident to Russia, saying that warplanes targeted Daesh with more than 45 strikes in the city, killing a number of militants and destroying a headquarters, but also leading to the death of 21 non-combatants and the injury of 43 more.
Sources told Al Ettihad: “The planes used vacuum missiles, cluster bombs and guided missiles in their bombing. Entire neighbourhoods were seen burning with rockets blazing, believed to be napalm missiles which is forbidden internationally.”
The Shaam News Network also blamed Russia, with activists saying that the raids focused on “Al Nai’m, Al Ferdos and the area around Al Rasheed Park.”
Syria.net said that the aircraft were believed to be Russian and listed areas that were targeted, adding that mosques in the city launched calls for blood donations due to the high numbers of people wounded. Quoting the ISIL agency Al A’amaq, an activist said that six civilians died and three were injured following Russian midnight raids.
Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently initially said that six civilians died in five raids by “warplanes” (it did not identify them). A further report said that more than 20 civilian homes had been destroyed near “the bunkers” or “al Sawame”. It later suggested that it could have been a Russian strike: “The heavy bombardment came after Russian statements to the UN Security Council about its intention to target Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor under the pretext of the war on terrorism.” It said that 24 raids had killed at least 20 civilians and wounded 50 more.
In a number of posts, RBSS said that the following locations had been targeted:
The area near Hitteen school
The area of the arts college
The old Al Haal market
Al Rasheed Mill.
The monitor also published 19 images showing destruction of Bilqis school, Al Rasheed Mill and the grain silos.
LCSSY reported that dawn raids had killed 10 non-combatants, but did not say who was responsible. But the Syrian Network for Human Rights blamed the regime for firing missiles on Bilqis school, partially destroying it and rendering it inoperable.
Orient News blamed the Coalition, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that the warplanes responsible “likely” belonged to the Coalition. It said that there had been 35 strikes killing 13 civilians and five militants, adding that the number of dead was predicted to rise due to the severity of injuries.
Quoting AFP and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Egypt News reported that the identity of the warplanes was unknown. It also put the death toll at 13 non-combatants and five members of Daesh.
Two victims were later named by RBSS.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (34) [ collapse]
Original strike reports
Russia has not publicly reported any strikes between May 1st – 31st 2016.
Syrian Regime Assessment:
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Original strike reports
For May 1st-2nd, the Coalition reported: "Near Ar Raqqah, one strike destroyed an ISIL crane."
For May 2nd-3rd: "Near Ar Raqqah, two strikes struck an ISIL finance center and an ISIL weapons storage facility."